Maine Medicine Weekly Update - 07/17/2017  (Plain Text Version)

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In this issue:
•  The Latest on the Senate Republican Health Care Proposal
•  Maine Quality Counts Taps Larry Clifford as Executive Director
•  DHHS Announces 31 Day Grace Period for Enforcement of E-prescribing Penalties
•  Learn How You Can Be Ready for the E-Prescribing Mandate: Webinar on Wednesday, July 19 12pm
•  PMP Peer Reports Expected Soon
•  Board of Licensure in Medicine Proposes Changes to Chapter 1 Rules
•  Loan and Trust Committee Approves $515,000 in Loans to Medical Students from Maine
•  Nominations for the 2017 Mary F. Cushman Award Due By August 1
•  Opportunities at the VA for Volunteer Physicians
•  Many Physicians, Still Fuzzy on Details, Feel Unprepared for QPP
•  MMA Annual Golf Tournament
•  Legislative Report
•  State Budget Vote Report
•  Opioid Prescribing Presentation: Wednesday, July 19 from 5-8:30pm in Auburn
•  Call-in Program on MIPS and APM - July 26, August 9 & August 30
•  16th Annual Downeast Ophthalmology Symposium - September 15-17
•  Patient Safety Academy - September 29
•  Register Now for the MMA and Maine Health Management Coalition 2017 Symposium on October 11
•  Online Learning Opportunities Offering CME Credits - from the Northern New England Practice Transformation Network
•  New Free CME on Alzheimer's Risk, Detection, and Management
•  Family Medicine Physician - Pittsfield, ME
•  Primary Care Physician - Eastern Maine Medical Center
•  Outpatient Only - Internal Medicine with Loan Repayment & Sign-on Bonus
•  Part-time Clinical & Part-time Research Position in Central Maine
•  Family Medicine Physician - Winthrop, ME
•  DO or MD Physician - Augusta, ME
•  Family Medicine Physician - Waterville, ME
•  Family Medicine Physician/Clinician Leader - Portland, ME
•  Family Medicine - Windham, ME
•  Nurse Practitioner - Swift River Family Medicine - Rumford, ME
•  Physician Assistant/Nurse Practitioner - Bridgton, ME
•  Hospitalist - Brunswick, ME
•  Gastroenterologist - Brunswick, ME
•  Ophthalmologist - Brunswick, ME
•  Family Nurse Practitioner - Sacopee Valley Health Center
•  BC/BE Family Medicine Physician Livermore Falls, ME
•  Internal Medicine Physician - Bangor, ME
•  Family Medicine Physician - Scarborough, ME


Legislative Report

The Appropriations Committee met twice to clear bills from the "Special Appropriations Table" and to vote on several bond issues.

Monday afternoon, July 17th, the Appropriations Committee finished what it started last Wednesday as it voted on bills that have been awaiting action on the Special Appropriations Table. Some of those bills are significant to health care, among them LD 1170, which will raise the age for tobacco sales to 21. The bill was voted "ought to pass" after an amendment reduced the amount of the fiscal note, an estimate of the bill's cost. LD 456, which would have expanded the scope of practice for pharmacists by allowing them to prescribe vaccines, was voted "ought not to pass" on a party line vote. LD 1108, amended to remove any additional public health nursing positions but retaining the 48 which are already in place, was also voted "ought to pass."

It should be noted that LD 327 is still pending as "unfinished business" in the Senate. That bill would create a cause of action for wrongful death for fetal demise in cases where gestation has surpassed 24 weeks. In plainer terms, the bill would allow a suit for medical malpractice or other torts to be brought by the estate of the fetus. That would treat a post-24-week gestation fetus as a legal person for purposes of a legal suit if fetal demise is claimed to have resulted from another person's negligent acts. Legal abortion is excluded, but the parties lobbying strenuously to pass this bill are primarily the Maine Christian Civic League, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, and Maine Right to Life.

The bill passed in the Senate but failed to pass in the House by 3 votes. An amendment has been prepared for proposal in the Senate, and if it passes there the bill and amendment would be returned to the House for another vote.

The last task of the Legislature will be reconvening for a "veto day," at which time they will vote on whether to override any recent vetoes by the Governor. The date for this event has not yet been announced, and it will depend on the date of the last regular legislative action on bills and the date of the Governor's last vetoes.